James McBride discusses his latest book, Deacon King Kong, with Sam Sanders at NPR, as well as the the importance of writing without regard for other people’s expectations. “I don’t think you can write books if you worry about what people think and what they’re going to say,” McBride says. “You know, the craft of putting together a story with a kind of complicated matter that is involved in story structure, you know, in a 300- or 350-page book, it’s too complicated to worry about whether someone’s going to say this […] You have a purpose to do something. You don’t choose writing. Writing chooses you.”
“Well, is ‘addiction’ what a literary writer should want in readers? And if a writer accepts such addiction, or even rejoices in it, as Murakami seems to, doesn’t it put pressure on him, as pusher, to offer more of the same?” Tim Parks writes for the NYRB about writers who keep producing more of the same to please hungry readers.
The book I co-edited, The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, got its Publishers Weekly review this week – a very nice writeup. Also spotted this week, a longer consideration of the book at tumblr Feriatus.
“I can’t control the kittens. Too many whiskers! Too many whiskers!” A woman writes down everything her husband says in his sleep. Why isn’t this on Twitter? (via attackattack.tumblr.com)
Cage the Elephant is considered one of the best young indie rock acts today, but the band got its start in the burgeoning music scene in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Sometime Millions contributor Craig Fehrman wrote a Kindle Single on Cage the Elephant and its influential hometown, Home Grown: Cage the Elephant and the Making of a Modern Music Scene. You can read his past Millions essays on the history of literary Time covers, Lewis Hyde’s understanding of intellectual property, and an ethnography of readers at Borders.